Rest easy

The problematic conversion of a Georgian townhouse called for the safe hands of interior designer Ian Smith

There is no greater endorsement of a project than the interior designer admitting they’d be happy to swap their own pad for their latest creation. But that’s exactly what Ian Smith felt like doing when he finished work on an apartment in Edinburgh’s New Town. “I love it so much I could move in myself!” he laughs.
The designer is still reeling from the whirlwind nature of this overhaul. In little more than six months, the property, on the garden and ground floors of a Georgian building, has been transformed from an ill-conceived conversion into a sophisticated apartment that is both practical and luxurious. “It was built as part of a townhouse circa 1806,” explains Ian, “and at some point it was subdivided.” The conversion had succeeded to “an acceptable degree”, but not to the designer’s exacting standards.
This was to be a second home for the clients, and they were looking for the property to be upgraded with their young family in mind. They didn’t want to compromise on style, but they did request a layout and finish that would work for children as well as adults. The garden level of the house has a spacious arrangement with a family dining/kitchen/living area towards the back of the property. It had been closed off – two rooms were separated by a corridor – but Ian and his team knocked through to create one open area that would integrate the purposes of each space while also introducing the flow and continuity that had previously been lacking.

This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 385-394, issue 100.

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Photography Neale Smith
Words Catherine Coyle
Art direction Gillian Welsh